Henrikh Mkhitaryan's move to Manchester United has "surprised" me, says Marcel Schmelzer

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It’s the transfer that everyone knows is about to happen, but it still hasn’t been officially confirmed.

Yes, of course, we’re talking about Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s move to Manchester United.

Borussia Dortmund have already confirmed that their winger will join United, the club's official store started selling shirts with Mkhitaryan on the back, while Jose Mourinho admitted that a third signing will soon be made official.


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While the move hasn't yet been confirmed, it hasn’t stopped everyone from talking about the move. And that includes Borussia Dortmund's Marcel Schmelzer.

The left-back has been at the German club since 2005, and he spoke of his surprise at Mkhitaryan’s decision to move to Old Trafford.

Schmelzer on Mkhitaryan's move

"I was surprised that Micki decided to make the move after all," said Schmelzer.

"Many players after the season talked to him about his plans.

"In the end, all you can do is to accept the decision.”

One thing that may surprise Schmelzer is the fact the Armenian is leaving Dortmund for a side without Champions League football. However, with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial and the possible arrival of Paul Pogba led by Jose Mourinho, it would be surprising if the Red Devils weren't competing in Europe's elite competition in the 2017/18 season.

Coping with Dortmund departures

Since Schmelzer’s arrival 11 years ago, he has seen many top quality players leave the Westfalenstadion.

Nuri Sahin, Shinji Kagawa, Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski have all left Dortmund in recent years but the club have done admirably well to replace them each season.

However, this summer could be the most damaging for the Bundesliga runners-up. They have already lost Ilkay Gundogan to Manchester City while captain Mats Hummels has joined rivals Bayern Munich.

With Mkhitaryan set to leave, they will be desperate to keep hold of their two remaining stars - Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Schmelzer understands how tough it will be to replace Mkhitaryan - who scored 23 goals and assisted a further 32 - as well as their skipper this summer.

"It's a major upheaval when your captain leaves and also a player like 'Micki', who's had a hand in 55 goals last season,” he said.

"The key now will be to offset it as a team. We have signed a lot of talented players, who will have to grow into their role. It will be difficult in any case because you can't replace Mats and Micki like-for-like.”

Mkhitaryan had spent three seasons in Germany with Dortmund following his move from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013, and has scored 40 goals in his 136 appearances.

While United fans will soon be celebrating the announcement of their new £26.3million signing, spare a though for Schmelzer and Borussia Dortmund fans who will have to endure another summer of attempting to replace their best players.

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Wayne Rooney
Premier League
Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Paul Scholes
Manchester United
Marcel Schmelzer
Borussia Dortmund

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